Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vertical Jump Test - After 2 weeks of Jump Manual program

So I've been doing the Jump Manual for 2 weeks now and thought it was time to test my vertical again.You can read about and watch a video of my original vertical jump test at this previous blog post.

Yesterday, I did the same tests as I had done 2 weeks before. It's a little hard to tell if I've increased my no-step vertical. Maybe just a little? Not sure. I was feeling good about my one-step vertical as it seemed like it was about a 1 inch improvement. But, after watching the video it was clear that I cheated! I actually took 2 steps! So don't have an accurate comparison and will make sure not to cheat next time. :-)

My running vertical has increased about 1 inch. Before, I was grabbing the rim at the knuckle of my middle finger. This time I was grabbing the rim at about the top of my palm which would be about a 1 inch increase.

So a 1 inch gain after 2 weeks. Not too shabby. But, I wish it was more! At this rate, I would be looking at about a 6 inch gain during the 12 weeks. That would mean I would barely be able to dunk on a good day when the planets were aligned and the wind was blowing just right. I'm hoping for more like 10 inches! That would be over 11 feet maximum height and even without being able to palm the ball should be plenty to throw it down.

My no-step vertical seems way too low to me which means I've got to hit the weights harder! Depending on how things go during the next few weeks, I may alter my workout to do less plyometrics and more weights. Many of the "vertical jump experts" out there say you must be able to squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight and I have a ways to go on that.

I will test again on Monday and hopefully by then I'll have figured out a better way to test and film my vertical jump. Wish I had an extra $600 so I could buy one of those vertecs! Those are sweet.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 2 Jump Manual - Recap

Week 2 is over and once again I was able to complete all the workouts for the Jump Manual. Only 10 weeks left which doesn't seem very long. If all goes as planned, I will be dunking before July 4th!

I was planning to do another vertical jump test and video but didn't get that done. Will definitely do that on Monday and see where I'm at. I do know that I've already made some good progress with my flexibility. When I'm warmed up, I can now bend down and touch the floor fairly easily. I know that sounds ridiculous but before starting the program, the furthest I could reach was a few inches above my toes. When I would stretch (which wasn't often obviously), people thought I was joking! Becoming more flexible should help with jumping and injury prevention too.

Another sign of progress is my lifts for the leg workout improved since last week. I've created a workout chart and am recording all my lifts and reps. It's kind of a pain to carry around my notebook and write everything down but it's so worth it! It helped me push so much harder! There is no way I would be able to remember how much weight I had done the previous workout and having that information in front of me was so motivating. I wanted to beat what I had done last time and did for nearly every exercise. No way I would have lifted as much weight today without that info. If you're not logging your workouts, you absolutely should!

That's all for now. I will post a new video in a couple of days. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 1 Jump Manual - Recap

First week of 12 for the Jump Manual is in the books and I’m pleased to report that I was able to complete all the workouts! I’m only a little sore too which is nice. When I originally started this program about 18 months ago prior to my knee injury (not related to Jump Manual), I remember being so sore that I had to take several days off after the first few leg workout days and plyometric days before I could continue the program. Those workouts are really intense! The Jump Manual is really big on recovery which I also agree is extremely important. My body seems to be a little better prepared this time. But, don't get me wrong it was still crazy hard!

The leg workout yesterday especially challenged me. About half way through, the thought came to me that I would never push myself this much without having this program and a commitment to do it. It’s just too easy (at least for me) to show up at the gym, throw some weight around, get a little sweat going, and call it good. If you do the Jump Manual, you will have to push yourself!

One thing I’m doing much better this time is doing all the stretches every day. My buddies mock me because I’m not able to even reach down and touch my toes. So flexibility is a big weakness that I can improve on and should help my jumping ability. In just one week, I’ve already made a ton of progress.

Another thing I’m doing differently this time is using a log book to record my leg workouts so I know how much weight I lifted and the number of reps. If you’re doing the Jump Manual, I’d be happy to send you a copy of what I created. I’m also finding this blog to be motivating as it has given me a greater feeling of accountability. This is out there for the whole world to see (although maybe no one will ever read it) and somehow that makes me want to try a little harder.

I will test my vertical again and post a new video showing where I'm at in a few days. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

How high do you need to jump to be in the NBA?

I just checked out last year's NBA Combine Athletic test results and was shocked!

These are the best players leaving college trying to make it to the next level and you would think there would be tons of guys with 40"+ verticals. Not even close!

Out of 52 NBA hopefuls, just one player had a 40" inch vert (Terrico White). The average max vertical jump among these athletes was just 32.94".

So maybe 2010 was a bad year? I pulled up the 2009 NBA Combine Athletic Results. There were 23 players including a now very famous dunker -- Blake Griffen. But, only 1 guy with a 40" inch vert. No, it wasn't Blake. It was Jonny Flynn from Syracuse. Blake's vertical was just 35.5".

What about 2008? There were 72 players in the combine with 6 players who had a 40" vert or higher including some big names like Derrick Rose (40") and OJ Mayo (41").

If I can increase my max vertical by just 4", I will be an "average" NBA prospect in terms of jumping ability based on 2010's results. That's kind of cool! Now if I was only a foot taller and had better skills. I might just have a chance...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vertical jump test - video

You know how those workout programs like bodyforlife have you take a picture before you start? You think you look okay but then you see the picture and you're like, "do I really look like that"?

I pretty much feel the same way about this video! The extra motivation is good.  But, wow.

This is a short video showing my standing, one step, and running vertical on Day 1 of the Jump Manual.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 1 stats - ouch!

To know how far you have to go to reach a goal, you must know where you are now. So as part of my first plyometric workout of the Jump Manual, I tested my vertical and had the following results:

93 inches (7 feet 9 inches)

Standing vertical jump:

One step vertical jump:

Running vertical jump:

To dunk, I will need to get at least 8 inches above the rim which means I would need to add at least 6 inches to my vertical since my max height is 10 feet 2 inches (93 inch reach + 29 inch jump = 122 inches).

Six inches doesn't seem like much but that will be no easy task. I'm mostly concerned about my standing vertical. 22 inches just seems pathetic! Based on what I know about the importance of strength vs quickness in jumping, my strength is limiting my jump more than my quickness.

I have some video clips that show my vert test. Will post when I get a chance.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm starting the Jump Manual

This Monday, April 11 I am starting the Jump Manual vertical jump program created by Jacob Hiller. I'm creating this blog as a way to track my progress and hopefully provide some additional motivation to complete the 12 week program. Yes, I want to dunk!

I actually started the Jump Manual about 18 months ago and unfortunately about 2/3 of the way through, I had a pretty bad knee injury in a city league game that took several months to heal. I'm feeling pretty healthy now and want to make another go at the program. I was getting some decent results and so I'm excited to go for it again.

Jacob Tucker's youtube video and winning the NCAA Dunk contest is partially to blame for this renewed obsession. That guy is ridiculous! And, I want to be just like him. Or just a little like him would be just fine.

I'm just under 6 feet tall and 39 years young. Given those facts, you may think this quest is a tad unrealistic. Great! That will only push me harder. I will tell you that in my younger days I could dunk. But, it has been a LONG time (at least 10 years). So, it certainly is possible. But, is it still possible? This is a race against a clock that seems to be ticking more and more quickly. If I'm going to dunk again, it's going to have to be soon!

The other reason I'm doing this program is I have an 11 year old son who I hope becomes a much better athlete than I ever was. I want to determine which programs are best to help him when he gets a little bit older. What better way to figure that out then do the programs myself?

If you are doing the Jump Manual or other vertical program right now, I'd love to hear about your results.

Thanks for reading and hope you will follow along for the next 12 weeks.